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Gene expression during early somatic embryogenesis in Brazilian pine Araucaria angustifolia Bert O Ktze

Gene expression during early somatic embryogenesis in Brazilian pine Araucaria angustifolia Bert O Ktze

Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 108(1): 173-180

Brazilian pine (Araucaria angustifolia (Bert) O. Ktze) is the only native conifer species with economic importance in Brazil. Recently, due to intensive exploitation Brazilian pine was included in the official list of endangered Brazilian plants, under the vulnerable category. Biotechnology tools like somatic embryogenesis (SE) are potentially useful for mass clonal propagation and ex situ conservation strategies of commercial and endangered plant species. In spite of that, numerous obstacles still hamper the full application of SE technology for a wider range of species, including Brazilian pine. To enhance somatic embryogenesis in Brazilian pine and to gain a better understanding of the molecular events associated with somatic embryo development, we analyzed the steady-state transcript levels of genes known to regulate somatic embryogenesis using semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (sqRT-PCR). These genes included Argonaute (AaAGO), Cup-shaped cotyledon1 (AaCUC), wushel-related WOX (AaWOX), a S-locus lectin protein kinase (AaLecK), Scarecrow-like (AaSCR), Vicilin 7S (AaVIC), Leafy Cotyledon 1 (AaLEC), and a Reversible glycosylated polypeptide (AaRGP). Expression patterns of these selected genes were investigated in embryogenic cultures undergoing different stages of embryogenesis, and all the way to maturation. Up-regulation of AaAGO, AaCUC, AaWOX, AaLecK, and AaVIC was observed during transition of somatic embryos from stage I to stage II. During the maintenance phase of somatic embryogenesis, expression of AaAGO and AaSCR, but not AaRPG and AaLEC genes was influenced by presence/absence of plant growth regulators, both auxins and cytokinins. The results presented here provide new insights on the molecular mechanisms responsible for somatic embryo formation, and how selected genes may be used as molecular markers for Brazilian pine embryogenesis.

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Accession: 036215671

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DOI: 10.1007/s11240-011-0023-7

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